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Posted at 02:51 PM ET, 02/16/2012

Oprah eyeing role in White House butler movie

Retired White House butler Eugene Allen in 2008. (Kevin Clark/The Washington Post)

Looks like Oprah is headed back to the big screen: She’s eyeing a starring role in “The Butler,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. The movie, directed by Lee Daniels (“Precious”), is inspired by our colleague Wil Haygood’s profile of long-time White House butler Eugene Allen, published days after Barack Obama was elected in 2008. Allen and Helene, his wife of 65 years, were especially excited to be voting for an African-American presidential candidate because he worked at the White House from 1952 to 1986, spanning the civil-rights movement and eight presidents. In a made-for-Hollywood twist, Helene died the night before the election, and he cast his ballot alone. After Allen’s story appeared, he received a VIP invitation to Obama’s swearing-in ceremony.

Oprah Winfrey. (Brijesh Sing/Reuters )
Actor David Oyelowo is Daniel’s pick to play Allen (who died in 2010 at age 90) and Oprah would co-star as his wife. This would be her first movie role since “Beloved” in 1998, reports the paper. Also named as part of the all-star cast: Hugh Jackman, Mila Kunis and John Cusack.

Read also: A Butler Well Served by This Election, 11/7/2008.

By  |  02:51 PM ET, 02/16/2012

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